JP2012217122A - Repeating device, transmission system, program, program provision system, and maintenance system - Google Patents

Repeating device, transmission system, program, program provision system, and maintenance system Download PDF

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JP2012217122A
JP2012217122A JP2011189171A JP2011189171A JP2012217122A JP 2012217122 A JP2012217122 A JP 2012217122A JP 2011189171 A JP2011189171 A JP 2011189171A JP 2011189171 A JP2011189171 A JP 2011189171A JP 2012217122 A JP2012217122 A JP 2012217122A
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transmission
terminal
relay device
information
reception
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JP2011189171A
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JP5853502B2 (en
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Kunio Okita
邦夫 沖田
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Ricoh Co Ltd
株式会社リコー
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Priority to JP2011189171A priority patent/JP5853502B2/en
Priority claimed from CA2830337A external-priority patent/CA2830337A1/en
Publication of JP2012217122A publication Critical patent/JP2012217122A/en
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Abstract

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a repeating device and a transmission system in which content data for conversation is transmitted and received between a plurality of transmission terminals with no delay.SOLUTION: First reception time when first pre-transmission information is received, and second reception time when second pre-transmission information is received are measured, and then first reception time information is transmitted to a first transmission terminal and second reception time information is transmitted to a second transmission terminal. First required time is calculated based on the difference between the first reception time and first transmission time, and second required time is calculated based on the difference between the second reception time and second transmission time. Total required time can be calculated by summing the first and second required times. A repeating device involved in the shortest total required time is selected.

Description

  The present invention relates to an invention for relaying content data for conversation between a plurality of transmission terminals.

  An example of a transmission system that transmits and receives content data between a plurality of transmission terminals is a video conference system that performs a video conference or the like via a communication network such as the Internet. The necessity of such a video conference system has been improved with the recent reduction in business trip expenses and business trip time. In such a video conference system, a plurality of video conference terminals, which are examples of transmission terminals, are used. A video conference can be realized by transmitting and receiving image data and audio data between these video conference terminals.

  In addition, with the recent enhancement of the broadband environment, it has become possible to send and receive high-quality image data and high-quality audio data, making it easier to understand the status of the other party in the video conference and enhancing the level of communication through conversation. It became possible to improve.

  However, when a large number of video conferences are held via a communication network, or when image data and audio data are received using a narrowband path on the communication network, contents such as image data and audio data are used. There is a problem that a delay occurs in data reception. It is said that a user of a video conference system feels stress during a conversation when a delay of 0.5 seconds or more occurs in receiving content data. For this reason, even in the recent enhancement of the broadband environment, there has been a situation in which users cannot perform a satisfactory video conference.

  In recent video conference systems, a plurality of relay devices are installed for relaying image data and audio data between video conference terminals for each LAN (Local Area Network) in a communication network. With these relay apparatuses, it is possible to distribute the video conference communication processing to reduce the load on each relay apparatus and to distribute the amount of data transmission such as content data to be relayed.

  Conventionally, in selecting and using one relay device among a plurality of relay devices, a relay device connected to the same LAN as the video conference terminal that performs the video conference has been used. That is, by selecting a relay device having an IP address close to the IP address of the video conference terminal, high-quality content data can be transmitted / received via the selected relay device (see Patent Document 1).

  However, in a conventional video conference system, a relay device is selected on the assumption that high-quality content data can be transmitted and received if a relay device having an IP address close to the IP address of the video conference terminal is used. Therefore, it is not always suitable for an actual communication network environment. In other words, even if the IP address of the video conference terminal or the IP address of the relay device is obtained in advance, it is difficult to grasp the connection status of communication networks spread all over the world. It does not always follow the assumption due to the presence of cut parts. Therefore, in an actual communication network environment, there arises a problem that it is not always possible to select a relay device that relays the highest quality content data.

  The invention according to claim 1 is a relay device that relays content data for conversation between the first and second transmission terminals, wherein the content data is transmitted and received between the first and second transmission terminals. Receiving means for receiving first pre-transmission information transmitted from the first transmission terminal and receiving second pre-transmission information transmitted from the second transmission terminal, Measuring means for measuring a first reception time when the first pre-transmission information is received by the means, and a second reception time when the second pre-transmission information is received by the reception means; First reception time information indicating the measured first reception time is transmitted to the first transmission terminal, and second reception time information indicating the measured second reception time is transmitted to the second transmission terminal. Relay device transmitting means for transmitting to terminal A relay apparatus characterized by having a.

  According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a plurality of relay devices that relay content data for a conversation between the relay device, the first and second transmission terminals, and the first and second transmission terminals. A transmission management system that selects a relay device that actually relays, wherein the first transmission terminal receives the received first reception time information and the first pre-transmission information. 1st terminal transmission means which transmits the 1st transmission time information which shows the transmission time at the time of transmitting to the said transmission management system, A said 2nd transmission terminal is the said 2nd received reception time. Information, and second transmission time information indicating second transmission time information indicating a transmission time when transmitting the second pre-transmission information, to the transmission management system, and the transmission management system includes: In the first reception time information Based on the difference between the received reception time and the transmission time indicated by the first transmission time information, the first required time from the transmission of the first pre-transmission information to the reception is calculated, and the second Based on the difference between the reception time indicated by the reception time information and the transmission time indicated by the second transmission time information, a second required time from transmission to reception of the second preliminary transmission information is calculated. The transmission system further comprises calculation means for calculating a total required time obtained by adding the first and second required times.

  The invention according to claim 3 is characterized in that the transmission management system has a selection means for selecting a relay device related to the shortest total required time among a plurality of relay devices. System.

  The invention according to claim 4 is a program which causes the computer to function as each means according to claim 1.

  The invention according to claim 5 is a program providing system which provides the program according to claim 4 via a communication network.

  A sixth aspect of the present invention is a maintenance system that performs maintenance of the relay device according to the first aspect.

  As described above, according to the present invention, the first reception time when the first pre-transmission information is received and the second reception time when the second pre-transmission information is received by the receiving unit are set. The first reception time information indicating the measured first reception time is transmitted to the first transmission terminal, and the second reception time information indicating the measured second reception time is the second Can be transmitted to other transmission terminals.

  Thereby, development to the following processing becomes possible. That is, the first required time is calculated based on the difference between the first reception time and the first transmission time when the first pre-transmission information is transmitted by the first transmission terminal, and the second reception time. And the second required time are calculated based on the difference between the second transmission time and the second transmission time when the second transmission terminal transmits the second pre-transmission information, and the first and second required times are summed up. Thus, the total required time can be calculated. Then, by selecting the relay device related to the shortest total required time among the plurality of relay devices, the relay device that relays the highest quality content data under the actual communication network environment is selected. It becomes possible.

1 is a schematic diagram of a transmission system according to an embodiment of the present invention. It is the conceptual diagram which showed the transmission / reception state of the image data in the transmission system, audio | voice data, and various management information. It is a conceptual diagram explaining the image quality of image data. It is an external view of the terminal which concerns on this embodiment. It is a hardware block diagram of the terminal which concerns on this embodiment. It is a hardware block diagram of the management system, relay apparatus, or program provision server which concerns on this embodiment. It is a functional block diagram of each terminal, a relay apparatus, and a management system which comprise the transmission system which concerns on this embodiment. It is a functional block diagram of the last narrowing-down part. It is a functional block diagram of a primary narrowing-down part. It is a conceptual diagram which shows a change quality management table. It is a conceptual diagram which shows a relay apparatus management table. It is a conceptual diagram which shows a terminal authentication management table. It is a conceptual diagram which shows a terminal management table. It is a conceptual diagram which shows a destination list management table. It is a conceptual diagram which shows a session management table. It is a conceptual diagram which shows an address priority management table. It is a conceptual diagram which shows a transmission rate priority management table. It is a conceptual diagram which shows a quality management table. It is the sequence figure which showed the process which manages the status information which shows the operating state of each relay apparatus. It is the sequence diagram which showed the process of the preparation stage which starts remote communication between terminals. It is the sequence diagram which showed the process which narrows down a relay apparatus. FIG. 10 is a process flow diagram illustrating a process of narrowing down relay devices. It is the figure which showed the calculation state of the point of priority at the time of performing the narrowing-down process of a relay apparatus. FIG. 10 is a sequence diagram illustrating processing in which a terminal selects a relay device according to the present embodiment. FIG. 10 is a sequence diagram illustrating processing in which a terminal selects a relay device according to the present embodiment. It is a processing flow figure showing processing which chooses a relay device in a terminal. It is the sequence diagram which showed the process which transmits / receives image data and audio | voice data between terminals.

<< Overall Configuration of Embodiment >>
Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a transmission system 1 according to this embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a conceptual diagram showing a state of transmission / reception of image data, audio data, and various management information in the transmission system. FIG. 3 is a conceptual diagram illustrating the image quality of image data.

  The transmission system includes a data providing system that transmits content data in one direction from one transmission terminal to the other transmission terminal via the transmission management system, and information between a plurality of transmission terminals via the transmission management system. Includes a communication system that communicates emotions and the like. This communication system is a system for mutually transmitting information, emotions and the like between a plurality of communication terminals via a communication management system, and examples thereof include a video conference system and a video phone system.

  In the present embodiment, assuming a video conference system as an example of a communication system, a video conference management system as an example of a communication management system, and a video conference terminal as an example of a communication terminal, a transmission system, a transmission management system, The transmission terminal will be described. That is, the transmission terminal and the transmission management system of the present invention are not only applied to a video conference system, but also applied to a communication system or a transmission system. In the present embodiment, “video conference” is described, but it may be called “video conference”, and both have the same content.

  First, the transmission system 1 shown in FIG. 1 includes a plurality of transmission terminals (10aa, 10ab,...), A display (120aa, 120ab,...) For each transmission terminal (10aa, 10ab,. The apparatus (30a, 30b, 30c, 30d), the transmission management system 50, the program providing system 90, and the maintenance system 100 are constructed.

  The plurality of terminals 10 perform transmission by transmitting and receiving image data and audio data as an example of content data.

  In the following, “transmission terminal” is simply represented as “terminal”, and “transmission management system” is simply represented as “management system”. Further, “terminal 10” is used to indicate an arbitrary terminal among a plurality of terminals (10aa, 10ab,...), And “arbitrary display” is illustrated to indicate an arbitrary display among a plurality of displays (120aa, 120ab,. When the “display 120” is used and an arbitrary relay device among the plurality of relay devices (30a, 30b, 30c, 30d) is indicated, the “relay device 30” is used. Further, a terminal as a request source requesting the start of a video conference will be described as a “request source terminal”, and a terminal as a destination (relay destination) as a request destination will be described as a “destination terminal”.

  As shown in FIG. 2, in the transmission system 1, a management information session sei for transmitting and receiving various types of management information is transmitted between the request source terminal and the destination terminal via the management system 50. Established. Further, between the request source terminal and the destination terminal, four pieces of data of high resolution image data, medium resolution image data, low resolution image data, and audio data are transmitted and received via the relay device 30. Four sessions are established. Here, these four sessions are collectively shown as an image / audio data session sed.

  Here, the resolution of the image data handled in the present embodiment will be described. As shown in FIG. 3 (a), the horizontal image is composed of 160 pixels and the vertical image is 120 pixels, and a low-resolution image serving as a base image and a horizontal image as illustrated in FIG. 3 (b). There are a medium resolution image consisting of 320 pixels and 240 pixels vertically, and a high resolution image consisting of 640 pixels horizontally and 480 pixels vertically as shown in FIG. Among these, when passing through a narrow band route, low-quality image data consisting only of low-resolution image data serving as a base image is relayed. When the band is relatively wide, low-resolution image data serving as a base image and medium-quality image data composed of medium-resolution image data are relayed. When the bandwidth is very wide, high-resolution image data composed of low-resolution image data serving as base image quality, intermediate-resolution image data, and high-resolution image data is relayed. For example, in the modified quality management table shown in FIG. 10, when the relay device 30 relays image data to the destination terminal 10db having the IP address “1.3.2.4”, the relay is performed. The image quality (image quality) of the image data is “high quality”.

  The relay device 30 shown in FIG. 1 relays content data among a plurality of terminals 10. The management system 50 centrally manages the login authentication from the terminal 10, the management of the call status of the terminal 10, the management of the destination list, and the communication status of the relay device 30. The image of the image data may be a moving image or a still image, or may be both a moving image and a still image.

  A plurality of routers (70a, 70b, 70c, 70d, 70ab, 70cd) select an optimum route for image data and audio data. In the present embodiment, “router 70” is used to indicate an arbitrary router among the routers (70a, 70b, 70c, 70d, 70ab, 70cd).

  The program providing system 90 includes an HD (Hard Disk) 204 described below, and stores a terminal program for causing the terminal 10 to realize various functions (or to cause the terminal 10 to function as various means). The terminal program can be transmitted to The HD 204 of the program providing system 90 also stores a relay device program for causing the relay device 30 to realize various functions (or to cause the relay device 30 to function as various means). The relay device program can be transmitted. Further, the HD 204 of the program providing system 90 also stores a transmission management program for realizing various functions in the management system 50 (or causing the management system 50 to function as various means). A transmission management program can be transmitted.

  The maintenance system 100 is a computer for maintaining, managing, or maintaining the terminal 10, the relay device 30, the management system 50, or the program providing system 90. For example, when the maintenance system 100 is installed in the country and the terminal 10, the relay device 30, the management system 50, or the program providing system 90 is installed outside the country, the maintenance system 100 is remotely connected via the communication network 2. The terminal 10, the relay device 30, the management system 50, or the program providing system 90 is maintained, managed, and maintained. In addition, the maintenance system 100 does not go through the communication network 2, but includes a model number, a manufacturing number, a sales destination, a maintenance check, at least one of the terminal 10, the relay device 30, the management system 50, and the program providing system 90. Or, maintenance such as failure history management is performed.

  By the way, the terminals (10aa, 10ab, 10ac,...), The relay device 30a, and the router 70a are communicably connected via the LAN 2a. The terminals (10ba, 10bb, 10bc,...), The relay device 30b, and the router 70b are communicably connected via a LAN 2b. The LAN 2a and the LAN 2b are communicably connected by a dedicated line 2ab including a router 70ab, and are constructed in a predetermined area A. For example, the region A is Japan, the LAN 2a is constructed in a Tokyo office, and the LAN 2b is constructed in an Osaka office.

  On the other hand, the terminals (10ca, 10cb, 10cc,...), The relay device 30c, and the router 70c are communicably connected via a LAN 2c. The terminal 10d (a, 10db, 10dc,...), The relay device 30d, and the router 70d are communicably connected via a LAN 2d. The LAN 2c and the LAN 2d are communicably connected via a dedicated line 2cd including the router 70cd, and are constructed in a predetermined area B. For example, region B is the United States of America, LAN 2c is built in a New York office, and LAN 2d is Washington D.C. C. Is built in the office. Area A and area B are connected to each other via routers (70ab, 70cd) via the Internet 2i.

  In addition, the management system 50 and the program providing system 90 are communicably connected to the terminal 10 and the relay device 30 via the Internet 2i. The management system 50 and the program providing system 90 may be installed in the region A or the region B, or may be installed in a region other than these.

  In the present embodiment, the communication network 2 of the present embodiment is constructed by the LAN 2a, the LAN 2b, the dedicated line 2ab, the Internet 2i, the dedicated line 2cd, the LAN 2c, and the LAN 2d. The communication network 2 may have a place where wireless communication such as WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) or Bluetooth (registered trademark) is performed in addition to wired communication.

  Further, in FIG. 1, four sets of numbers shown below each terminal 10, each relay device 30, management system 50, each router 70, and program providing system 90 are simplified IP addresses in general IPv4. Is shown. For example, the IP address of the terminal 10aa is “1.2.1.3”. In addition, IPv6 may be used instead of IPv4, but IPv4 will be used for the sake of simplicity.

In addition, each terminal 10 is not only a call between a plurality of business establishments or a call between different rooms in the same business establishment, but a call within the same room or a call between the outdoors and indoors or outdoors and outdoors. May be used. When each terminal 10 is used outdoors, wireless communication such as a cellular phone communication network is performed.
<< Hardware Configuration of Embodiment >>
Next, the hardware configuration of this embodiment will be described. FIG. 4 is an external view of the terminal 10 according to the present embodiment. Hereinafter, the longitudinal direction of the terminal 10 will be described as the X-axis direction, the direction orthogonal to the X-axis direction in the horizontal plane as the Y-axis direction, and the direction orthogonal to the X-axis direction and the Y-axis direction (vertical direction) as the Z-axis direction.

  As shown in FIG. 4, the terminal 10 includes a housing 1100, an arm 1200, and a camera housing 1300. Among them, the front side wall surface 1110 of the housing 1100 is provided with an air intake surface (not shown) formed by a plurality of air intake holes, and the rear side wall surface 1120 of the housing 1100 is formed with a plurality of exhaust holes. An exhaust surface 1121 is provided. As a result, by driving a cooling fan built in the housing 1100, the outside air behind the terminal 10 can be taken in via an intake surface (not shown) and exhausted to the rear of the terminal 10 via an exhaust surface 1121. A sound collecting hole 1131 is formed in the right wall surface 1130 of the housing 1100, and sounds such as voice, sound, noise can be collected by a built-in microphone 114 described later.

    An operation panel 1150 is formed on the right wall surface 1130 side of the housing 1100. The operation panel 1150 is provided with a plurality of operation buttons (108a to 108e) to be described later, a power switch 109 to be described later, and an alarm lamp 119 to be described later, and outputs sound from a built-in speaker 115 to be described later. A sound output surface 1151 formed by a plurality of sound output holes for passing through is formed. Further, a housing 1160 as a recess for housing the arm 1200 and the camera housing 1300 is formed on the left wall surface 1140 side of the housing 1100. The right side wall surface 1130 of the housing 1100 is provided with a plurality of connection ports (1132a to 1132c) for electrically connecting cables to an external device connection I / F 118 described later. On the other hand, the left wall surface 1140 of the housing 1100 is provided with a connection port (not shown) for electrically connecting the cable 120c for the display 120 to an external device connection I / F 118 described later.

  In the following description, “operation button 108” is used when an arbitrary operation button is indicated among the operation buttons (108a to 108e), and “an arbitrary connection port is indicated among the connection ports (1132a to 1132c)”. This will be described using the connection port 1132 ”.

  Next, the arm 1200 is attached to the housing 1100 via a torque hinge 1210, and the arm 1200 is configured to be able to rotate in the vertical direction with respect to the housing 1100 within a tilt angle θ1 of 135 degrees. ing. FIG. 4 shows a state where the tilt angle θ1 is 90 degrees.

  The camera housing 1300 is provided with a built-in camera 112 described later, and can capture images of users, documents, rooms, and the like. A torque hinge 1310 is formed in the camera housing 1300. The camera housing 1300 is attached to the arm 1200 via a torque hinge 1310. The camera housing 1300 is attached to the arm 1200 via a torque hinge 1310. The pan angle θ2 of ± 180 degrees is assumed with respect to the arm 1200, with the state shown in FIG. And a tilt angle θ3 of ± 45 degrees can be rotated in the vertical and horizontal directions.

  Note that the relay device 30, the management system 50, the program providing system 90, and the maintenance system 100 have the same external appearance as a general server computer, and thus the description of the external appearance is omitted.

  FIG. 5 is a hardware configuration diagram of the terminal 10 according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 5, the terminal 10 of the present embodiment has programs used for driving the CPU 101 such as a CPU (Central Processing Unit) 101 and IPL (Initial Program Loader) that control the operation of the entire terminal 10. ROM (Read Only Memory) 102, RAM (Random Access Memory) 103 used as a work area for the CPU 101, flash memory 104 for storing various data such as terminal programs, image data, and audio data, and control of the CPU 101 The SSD (Solid State Drive) 105 that controls the reading or writing of various data to the flash memory 104 according to the above, the media drive 107 that controls the reading or writing (storage) of data to the recording medium 106 such as the flash memory, and the destination of the terminal 10 The operation that is performed when selecting An operation button 108, a power switch 109 for switching on / off the power of the terminal 10, and a network I / F (Interface) 111 for data transmission using the communication network 2 are provided.

  The terminal 10 also includes a built-in camera 112 that captures an image of a subject under the control of the CPU 101 to obtain image data, an image sensor I / F 113 that controls driving of the camera 112, a built-in microphone 114 that inputs sound, and sound. The built-in speaker 115 for outputting the sound, the sound input / output I / F 116 for processing the input / output of the sound signal between the microphone 114 and the speaker 115 according to the control of the CPU 101, and the image data on the external display 120 according to the control of the CPU 101. FIG. 5 shows a display I / F 117 for transmission, an external device connection I / F 118 for connecting various external devices, an alarm lamp 119 for notifying abnormality of various functions of the terminal 10, and the above-described components. A bus line 110 such as an address bus or a data bus is provided for electrical connection. To have.

  The display 120 is a display unit configured by a liquid crystal or an organic EL that displays an image of a subject, an operation icon, and the like. The display 120 is connected to the display I / F 117 by a cable 120c. The cable 120c may be an analog RGB (VGA) signal cable, a component video cable, or an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) or DVI (Digital Video Interactive) signal. It may be a cable.

  The camera 112 includes a lens and a solid-state image sensor that converts light into electric charges and digitizes a subject image (video). As the solid-state image sensor, a CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) or a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) is used. Etc. are used.

  The external device connection I / F 118 includes an external camera, an external microphone, an external speaker, and the like by a USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable or the like inserted into the connection port 1132 of the housing 1100 shown in FIG. Can be electrically connected to each other. When an external camera is connected, the external camera is driven in preference to the built-in camera 112 under the control of the CPU 101. Similarly, when an external microphone is connected or when an external speaker is connected, each of the external microphones and the built-in speaker 115 is given priority over the internal microphone 114 and the internal speaker 115 according to the control of the CPU 101. An external speaker is driven.

  The recording medium 106 is detachable from the terminal 10. Further, as long as it is a non-volatile memory that reads or writes data according to the control of the CPU 101, not only the flash memory 104 but also an EEPROM (Electrically Erasable and Programmable ROM) or the like may be used.

  Furthermore, the terminal program may be recorded and distributed on a computer-readable recording medium (such as the recording medium 106) in a file in an installable or executable format. The terminal program may be stored in the ROM 102 instead of the flash memory 104.

  FIG. 6 is a hardware configuration diagram of the management system according to this embodiment of the present invention. The management system 50 stores various data such as a CPU 201 that controls the operation of the entire management system 50, a ROM 202 that stores programs used to drive the CPU 201 such as an IPL, a RAM 203 that is used as a work area for the CPU 201, and a transmission management program. The HD 204 to be stored, an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) 205 that controls reading or writing of various data to the HD 204 according to the control of the CPU 201, and a media drive 207 that controls reading or writing (storage) of data to a recording medium 206 such as a flash memory. , A display 208 that displays various information such as a cursor, menu, window, character, or image, a network I / F 209 for transmitting data using the communication network 2, characters, numerical values, A keyboard 211 having a plurality of keys for inputting seed instructions, a mouse 212 for selecting and executing various instructions, selecting a processing target, moving a cursor, etc., and a CD-ROM as an example of a removable recording medium (Compact Disc Read Only Memory) 213, a CD-ROM drive 214 for controlling the reading or writing of various data, and an address bus for electrically connecting the above components as shown in FIG. A bus line 210 such as a data bus is provided.

  The transmission management program is a file in an installable or executable format, and may be recorded and distributed on a computer-readable recording medium such as the recording medium 206 or CD-ROM 213. . The transmission management program may be stored in the ROM 202 instead of the HD 204.

  Further, since the relay device 30 has the same hardware configuration as that of the management system 50, the description thereof is omitted. However, a relay device program for controlling the relay device 30 is recorded in the HD 204. Also in this case, the relay device program is a file in an installable or executable format, and is recorded on a computer-readable recording medium such as the recording medium 206 or CD-ROM 213 for distribution. Good. The relay device program may be stored in the ROM 202 instead of the HD 204.

  Further, since the program providing system 90 and the maintenance system 100 have the same hardware configuration as the management system 50, the description thereof is omitted. However, a program providing program for controlling the program providing system 90 is recorded in the HD 204. Also in this case, the program providing program is a file in an installable or executable format, and may be recorded and distributed on a computer-readable recording medium such as the recording medium 206 or the CD-ROM 213. Good. The program providing system program may be stored in the ROM 202 instead of the HD 204.

As another example of the detachable recording medium, the recording medium is provided by being recorded on a computer-readable recording medium such as a CD-R (Compact Disc Recordable), a DVD (Digital Versatile Disk), or a Blu-ray Disc. May be.
<< Functional Configuration of Embodiment >>
Next, the functional configuration of this embodiment will be described. In the present embodiment, when a delay occurs in the reception of image data at the terminal 10 as the destination (relay destination), the image resolution of the image data is changed by the relay device 30 before the terminal 10 as the relay destination. A case where image data is transmitted will be described.

  FIG. 7 is a functional block diagram of each terminal, device, and system constituting the transmission system 1 of the present embodiment. In FIG. 7, the terminal 10, the relay device 30, and the management system 50 are connected so that data communication can be performed via the communication network 2. The program providing system 90 shown in FIG. 1 is omitted in FIG. 7 because it is not directly related to the video conference communication.

<Functional configuration of terminal>
The terminal 10 includes a transmission / reception unit 11, an operation input reception unit 12, a login request unit 13, an imaging unit 14, an audio input unit 15a, an audio output unit 15b, a display control unit 17, a delay detection unit 18, and a storage / read processing unit 19. have. Each of these units is a function realized by any one of the constituent elements shown in FIG. 5 being operated by a command from the CPU 101 according to the terminal program developed from the flash memory 104 onto the RAM 103, or It is a means to function. Further, the terminal 10 has a storage unit 1000 constructed by the RAM 103 shown in FIG. 5 and the flash memory 104 shown in FIG.

(Functional configuration of terminal)
Next, each functional configuration of the terminal 10 will be described in detail. In the following, in describing each functional configuration of the terminal 10, among the components illustrated in FIG. 5, a relationship with main components for realizing each functional configuration of the terminal 10 will also be described. .

  The transmission / reception unit 11 of the terminal 10 is realized by a command from the CPU 101 illustrated in FIG. 5 and the network I / F 111 illustrated in FIG. 5, and communicates with other terminals, devices, or systems via the communication network 2. Sends and receives various data (information). The transmission / reception unit 11 starts receiving state information indicating the state of each terminal as a destination candidate from the management system 50 before starting a call with a desired destination terminal. This status information includes not only the operating status of each terminal 10 (online or offline status) but also whether it is possible to make a call even when online, whether a call is in progress, or is away from the desk. The detailed state of is shown. In addition, the status information includes not only the operating status of each terminal 10, but also the cable (120c, 130c, 140c, 150c) is disconnected from the terminal 10 at the terminal 10, voice is output but no image is output, Various states are shown such as not outputting audio (MUTE). Below, the case where status information shows an operation state is demonstrated as an example.

  The operation input receiving unit 12 is realized by a command from the CPU 101 shown in FIG. 5 and the operation buttons 108 and the power switch 109 shown in FIG. 5 and receives various inputs by the user. For example, when the user turns on the power switch 109 shown in FIG. 5, the operation input accepting unit 12 shown in FIG. 7 accepts power-on and turns on the power.

  The login request unit 13 is realized by a command from the CPU 101 shown in FIG. 5, and requests login from the transmission / reception unit 11 to the management system 50 via the communication network 2 when the power-on is accepted. And the current IP address of the requesting terminal are automatically transmitted. Further, when the user turns off the power switch 109 from the on state, the operation input receiving unit 12 completely turns off the power after the transmission / reception unit 11 transmits state information indicating that the power is off to the management system 50. To do. Thereby, the management system 50 side can grasp that the terminal 10 has been turned off from being turned on.

  The imaging unit 14 is realized by a command from the CPU 101 illustrated in FIG. 5 and the camera 112 and the image sensor I / F 113 illustrated in FIG. 5. Output data.

  The voice input unit 15a is realized by the command from the CPU 101 shown in FIG. 5 and the voice input / output I / F 116 shown in FIG. 5, and the user's voice is converted into a voice signal by the microphone 140. Thereafter, audio data relating to the audio signal is input. The audio output unit 15b is realized by a command from the CPU 101 shown in FIG. 5 and the audio input / output I / F 116 shown in FIG. 5, and outputs an audio signal related to audio data to the speaker 150. To output sound.

  The display control unit 17 is realized by the instruction from the CPU 101 shown in FIG. 5 and the display I / F 117 shown in FIG. 5. As will be described later, the received image data having different resolutions are combined. Control for transmitting the combined image data to the display 120 is performed. In addition, the display control unit 17 can transmit the destination list information received from the management system 50 to the display 120 and cause the display 120 to display the destination list.

  The delay detection unit 18 is realized by a command from the CPU 101 shown in FIG. 5 and detects a delay time (ms) of image data or audio data sent from another terminal 10 via the relay device 30. .

  The storage / reading processing unit 19 is executed by the instruction from the CPU 101 shown in FIG. 5 and the instruction from the SSD 105 shown in FIG. 5 or realized by the instruction from the CPU 101, and stores various data in the storage unit 1000. Processing for reading various data stored in the unit 1000 is performed. The storage unit 1000 stores a terminal ID (Identification) for identifying the terminal 10, a password, and the like. Furthermore, the storage unit 1000 overwrites and stores image data and audio data received when a call is made with the destination terminal. Among these, the image is displayed on the display 120 by the image data before being overwritten, and the sound is output from the speaker 150 by the sound data before being overwritten.

  Note that the terminal ID of the present embodiment and a relay device ID described later indicate identification information such as a language, characters, symbols, or various signs used to uniquely identify the terminal 10 and the relay device 30, respectively. Further, the terminal ID and the relay device ID may be identification information in which at least two of the language, characters, symbols, and various indicia are combined.

<Functional configuration of relay device>
The relay device 30 includes a transmission / reception unit 31, a state detection unit 32, a data quality confirmation unit 33, a change quality management unit 34, a data quality change unit 35, a measurement unit 36, and a storage / read processing unit 39. Each of these units functions or functions realized by any one of the constituent elements shown in FIG. 6 operating according to a command from the CPU 201 according to the relay device program expanded from the HD 204 onto the RAM 203. Means. The relay device 30 includes a storage unit 3000 configured by the RAM 203 illustrated in FIG. 6 and / or the HD 204 illustrated in FIG. FIG. 10 is a conceptual diagram showing the changed quality management table.

(Change quality control table)
In the storage unit 3000, a change quality management DB (Data Base) 3001 configured by a change quality management table as shown in FIG. In the change quality management table, the IP address of the terminal 30 as the relay destination (destination) of the image data and the image quality of the image data relayed by the relay device 30 are associated with the relay destination and managed.

(Each functional configuration of the relay device)
Next, each functional configuration of the relay device 30 will be described in detail. In the following, in describing each functional configuration of the relay device 30, among the components illustrated in FIG. 6, the relationship with the main components for realizing each functional configuration of the relay device 30 is also described. explain.

  The transmission / reception unit 31 of the relay device 30 shown in FIG. 7 is realized by the command from the CPU 201 shown in FIG. 6 and the network I / F 209 shown in FIG. Various data (information) is transmitted / received to / from other terminals, devices, or systems.

  The state detection unit 32 is realized by a command from the CPU 201 illustrated in FIG. 6, and detects an operating state of the relay device 30 having the state detection unit 32. The operating state includes “online”, “offline”, “busy”, or “temporarily interrupted”.

  The data quality confirmation unit 33 is realized by a command from the CPU 201 shown in FIG. 6, searches the change quality management DB 3001 (see FIG. 10) using the IP address of the destination terminal as a search key, and relays correspondingly. The image quality of the relayed image data is confirmed by extracting the image quality of the image data. The description in parentheses after the DB 3001 represents a drawing showing a table constructed in the DB 3001. The same applies to the other DBs.

  The change quality management unit 34 is realized by a command from the CPU 201 shown in FIG. 6 and changes the contents of the change quality management DB 3001 based on quality information to be described later sent from the management system 50. For example, a video conference is performed by transmitting and receiving high-quality image data between a request source terminal (terminal 10aa) whose terminal ID is “01aa” and a destination terminal (terminal 10db) whose terminal ID is “01db”. While the request is being made, the requesting terminal (terminal 10bb) and the destination terminal (terminal 10ca) that conduct another videoconference start the videoconference via the communication network 2, etc., so that the destination terminal (terminal 10db) When a delay in receiving the image data occurs, the relay device 30 reduces the image quality of the image data that has been relayed from the high image quality to the medium image quality. In such a case, the content of the change quality management DB 3001 is changed so as to lower the image quality of the image data relayed by the relay device 30 from the high image quality to the medium image quality based on the quality information indicating the medium image quality.

  The data quality changing unit 35 is realized by a command from the CPU 201 shown in FIG. 6, and the image quality of the image data sent from the transmission source terminal 10 is based on the contents of the changed change quality management DB 3001. To change.

  The measurement unit 36 includes a first reception time (tr1) when the first pre-transmission information is received by the transmission / reception unit 31, and a second time when the second pre-transmission information is received by the transmission / reception unit 31. Measure the reception time (tr2). In the first and second pre-transmission information, a ping (Packet Internet Groper) for confirming that the terminal 10 that is the transmission source of the pre-transmission information and the relay device 30 are connected so as to be communicable. include. Further, the first pre-transmission information is transmitted to the relay device 30 instead of the image data and the audio data prior to the transmission of the image data and the audio data, so that the transmission from the request source terminal to the relay device 30a is performed. This is information used to measure the time required for reception at the terminal. Prior to the transmission of the image data and the audio data, the second pre-transmission information is transmitted to the relay device 30 instead of the image data and the audio data, so that the transmission at the destination terminal is received at the relay device 30a. This information is used to measure the time required until.

  The storage / reading processing unit 39 is realized by an instruction from the CPU 201 illustrated in FIG. 6 and the HDD 205 illustrated in FIG. 6. The storage / reading processing unit 39 stores various data in the storage unit 3000 or is stored in the storage unit 3000. To read various data.

<Functional configuration of management system>
The management system 50 includes a transmission / reception unit 51, a terminal authentication unit 52, a state management unit 53, a terminal extraction unit 54, a terminal state acquisition unit 55, a primary narrowing unit 56, a session management unit 57, a quality determination unit 58, and a storage / read process. Section 59, delay time management section 60, and final narrowing section 61. Each of these units functions or functions realized by any one of the constituent elements shown in FIG. 6 operating according to a command from the CPU 201 according to the management system program expanded from the HD 204 onto the RAM 203. Means. Further, the management system 50 has a storage unit 5000 constructed by the HD 204 shown in FIG.

  FIG. 8 is a functional configuration diagram of the final narrowing unit. FIG. 9 is a functional configuration diagram of the primary narrowing-down unit. FIG. 11 is a conceptual diagram showing a relay device management table. FIG. 12 is a conceptual diagram showing a terminal authentication management table. FIG. 13 is a conceptual diagram showing a terminal management table. FIG. 14 is a conceptual diagram showing a destination list management table. FIG. 15 is a conceptual diagram showing a session management table. FIG. 16 is a conceptual diagram showing an address priority management table. FIG. 17 is a conceptual diagram showing a transmission rate priority management table. FIG. 18 is a conceptual diagram showing a quality management table.

(Relay device management table)
In the storage unit 5000, a relay device management DB 5001 configured by a relay device management table as shown in FIG. 11 is constructed. In this relay device management table, for each relay device ID of each relay device 30, the operating status of each relay device 30, the reception date and time when status information indicating the operating status is received by the management system 50, and the IP address of the relay device 30 , And the maximum data transmission rate (Mbps) in the relay device 30 is managed in association with each other. For example, in the relay device management table shown in FIG. 11, the relay device 30a with the relay device ID “111a” has an “online” operating state and the date and time when the status information was received by the management system 50 is “2009”. "November 10, 13:00" indicates that the IP address of this relay device 30a is "1.2.1.2" and that the maximum data transmission rate in this relay device 30a is 100 Mbps. Yes.

(Terminal authentication management table)
Furthermore, in the storage unit 5000, a terminal authentication management DB 5002 configured by a terminal authentication management table as shown in FIG. In this terminal authentication management table, each password is associated with each terminal ID of all terminals 10 managed by the management system 50 and managed. For example, the terminal authentication management table shown in FIG. 12 indicates that the terminal ID of the terminal 10aa is “01aa” and the password is “aaaa”.

(Terminal management table)
Further, in the storage unit 5000, a terminal management DB 5003 configured by a terminal management table as shown in FIG. 13 is constructed. In this terminal management table, for each terminal ID of each terminal 10, a destination name when each terminal 10 is a destination, an operating state of each terminal 10, a reception date and time when login request information described later is received by the management system 50, And the IP address of the terminal 10 is managed in association with each other. For example, in the terminal management table shown in FIG. 13, the terminal 10aa with the terminal ID “01aa” has the terminal name “Japan Tokyo Office AA terminal” and the operation state “online (call possible)” It is indicated that the date and time when the login request information is received by the management system 50 is “13:40 on November 10, 2009” and the IP address of this terminal 10aa is “1.2.1.3”. ing.

(Destination list management table)
Furthermore, in the storage unit 5000, a destination list management DB 5004 configured by a destination list management table as shown in FIG. 14 is constructed. In this destination list management table, all terminal IDs of destination terminals registered as destination terminal candidates are managed in association with terminal IDs of request source terminals that request the start of a call in a video conference. For example, in the destination list management table shown in FIG. 14, the requesting terminal (terminal 10aa) whose terminal ID is “01aa” is the destination terminal (terminal 10db) that can request the start of a video conference call. The candidates are indicated to be a terminal 10ab having a terminal ID “01ab”, a terminal 10ba having a terminal ID “01ba”, a terminal 10bb having a terminal ID “01bb”, and the like. This destination terminal candidate is updated by being added or deleted in response to a request for addition or deletion from an arbitrary request source terminal to the management system 50.

(Session management table)
In the storage unit 5000, a session management DB 5005 configured by a session management table as shown in FIG. 15 is constructed. In this session management table, for each selection session ID used to execute a session for selecting the relay device 30, the relay device ID of the relay device 30 used for relaying image data and audio data, the request source terminal Management system that receives a terminal ID, a terminal ID of the destination terminal, a reception delay time (ms) when image data is received at the destination terminal, and delay information indicating the delay time from the destination terminal The reception date and time received at 50 is managed in association with each other. For example, in the session management table shown in FIG. 15, the relay device 30a (relay device ID “111a”) selected in the session executed using the selection session ID “se1” has the terminal ID “01aa”. "And the destination terminal (terminal 10db) whose terminal ID is" 01db "are relayed between the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the destination terminal (terminal 10db)" 2009 " It is shown that the delay time of the image data at “14:00 on November 10” is 200 (ms). When a video conference is performed between the two terminals 10, the reception date and time of the delay information may be managed based on the delay information transmitted from the request source terminal instead of the destination terminal. However, when a video conference is performed between three or more terminals 10, the reception date and time of delay information is managed based on the delay information transmitted from the terminal 10 on the image data and audio data receiving side.

(Address priority management table)
Furthermore, in the storage unit 5000, a priority management DB 5006 configured by an address priority management table as shown in FIG. 16 is constructed. In this address priority management table, the dot priority of the dot address is set so that the point of the address priority becomes higher as the “same” of the four sets of dot addresses (Dot Address) of the general IPv4 IP addresses increases. The difference and the address priority are managed in association with each other. This “same” means that the dot address portions are the same, and “different” means that the dot address portions are different. For example, in the address priority management table shown in FIG. 16, when three values are the same IP address from the top to the bottom of the dot address, the address priority point is “5”. When the two values are the same IP address from the top to the bottom of the dot address, the address priority point is “3”. In this case, whether the value of the lowest dot address is the same or not is not related to the priority. In the case of IP addresses having the same highest value of dot addresses and different second values from the top, the address priority point is “1”. In this case, whether or not the values of the third and lowest dot addresses from the top are the same has no relation to the priority. In the case of IP addresses having different uppermost values of dot addresses, the address priority point is “0”. In this case, whether or not the values of the second, third, and lowest dot addresses from the top are the same has no relation to the priority.

(Transmission speed priority management table)
The priority management DB 5006 built in the storage unit 5000 also includes a transmission speed priority management table as shown in FIG. In this transmission rate priority management table, the maximum data transmission rate and the transmission rate priority are set such that the higher the maximum data transmission rate (Mbps) value in the relay device 30, the higher the transmission rate priority point. Associated and managed. For example, in the transmission rate priority management table shown in FIG. 17, when the maximum data transmission rate in the relay apparatus 30 is 1000 Mbps or more, the transmission rate priority point is “5”. When the maximum data transmission rate in the relay device 30 is 100 Mbps or more and less than 1000 Mbps, the transmission rate priority point is “3”. When the maximum data transmission rate in the relay device 30 is 10 Mbps or more and less than 100 Mbps, the transmission rate priority point is “1”. When the maximum data transmission rate in the relay device 30 is less than 10 Mbps, the transmission rate priority point is “0”.

(Quality control table)
Furthermore, in the storage unit 5000, a quality management DB 5007 configured by a quality management table as shown in FIG. In this quality management table, the longer the delay time (ms) of the image data at the requesting terminal or the destination terminal, the lower the image data delay time and the image data quality so that the image quality of the image data relayed by the relay device 30 is lowered. (Image quality) and are managed in association with each other.

(Functional configuration of the management system)
Next, each functional configuration of the management system 50 will be described in detail. In the following, in describing each functional configuration of the management system 50, among the components shown in FIG. 6, the relationship with the main components for realizing each functional configuration of the management system 50 is also described. explain.

  The transmission / reception unit 51 is executed by the command from the CPU 201 shown in FIG. 6 and the network I / F 209 shown in FIG. Information).

  The terminal authentication unit 52 is realized by a command from the CPU 102 shown in FIG. 6, and uses the terminal ID and password included in the login request information received via the transmission / reception unit 51 as a search key, and the storage unit 5000. The terminal authentication management DB 5002 is searched, and terminal authentication is performed by determining whether or not the same terminal ID and password are managed in the terminal authentication management DB 5002.

  The state management unit 53 is realized by an instruction from the CPU 102 shown in FIG. 6, and this request source terminal is stored in the terminal management DB 5003 (see FIG. 13) in order to manage the operating state of the request source terminal that has requested login. The terminal ID, the operating state of the request source terminal, the reception date and time when the login request information is received by the management system 50, and the IP address of the request source terminal are stored and managed in association with each other. In addition, the state management unit 53 performs terminal management based on the state information indicating that the power is turned off, which is sent from the terminal 10 when the user turns the power switch 109 of the terminal 10 from on to off. The operation state indicating online of the DB 5003 (see FIG. 13) is changed to offline.

  The terminal extraction unit 54 is realized by an instruction from the CPU 102 shown in FIG. 6, and searches the destination list management DB 5004 (see FIG. 14) using the terminal ID of the request source terminal that requested the login as a key. The terminal ID is extracted by reading the terminal ID of the candidate destination terminal that can make a call. In addition, the terminal extraction unit 54 searches the destination list management DB 5004 (see FIG. 14) using the terminal ID of the request source terminal that has requested the login as a key, and registers the terminal ID of the request source terminal as a destination terminal candidate. The terminal IDs of other request source terminals are also extracted.

  The terminal status acquisition unit 55 is realized by a command from the CPU 102 shown in FIG. 6 and uses the terminal ID of the destination terminal candidate extracted by the terminal extraction unit 54 as a search key as a terminal management DB 5003 (see FIG. 13). ) And the operation state is read for each terminal ID extracted by the terminal extraction unit 54. Thereby, the terminal state acquisition unit 55 can acquire the operating state of the candidate destination terminal that can make a call with the request source terminal that has requested the login. Further, the terminal state acquisition unit 55 searches the terminal management DB 5003 using the terminal ID extracted by the terminal extraction unit 54 as a search key, and also acquires the operating state of the request source terminal that has requested login.

  The primary narrowing unit 56 is realized by a command from the CPU 102 shown in FIG. 6, and this final narrowing process is performed in order to support a final narrowing process that finally narrows down from a plurality of relay apparatuses 30 to one relay apparatus 30. Perform the previous primary narrowing process. For this purpose, the primary narrowing-down unit 56 switches the selection session ID generation unit 56a, the terminal IP address extraction unit 56b, the primary selection unit 56c, and the priority determination unit 56d according to the command from the CPU 201 shown in FIG. Realize.

  Among these, the selection session ID generation unit 56 a generates a selection session ID used for executing a session for selecting the relay device 30. The terminal IP address extraction unit 56b obtains the terminal management DB 5003 (see FIG. 13) based on the terminal ID of the request source terminal and the terminal ID of the destination terminal included in the start request information sent from the request source terminal. By searching, the IP address of each corresponding terminal 10 is extracted. The primary selection unit 56c selects the relay device ID of the relay device 30 whose operation state is “online” from among the relay devices 30 managed by the relay device management DB 5001 (see FIG. 11). The device 30 is selected.

  Further, the primary selection unit 56c searches the relay device management DB 5001 (see FIG. 11) based on the IP address of the request source terminal and the IP address of the destination terminal extracted by the terminal IP address extraction unit 56b. Thus, for each dot address of the IP address of the selected relay device 30, it is investigated whether it is the same as or different from each dot address in each IP address of the request source terminal and the destination terminal. Further, for each relay device, the primary selection unit 56c includes the higher two relay devices having the higher points of the integrated points obtained by integrating the higher points with respect to the terminal 10 at the address priority points and the transmission speed priority points. By selecting 30, the relay device 30 is further selected. In the present embodiment, the top two relay devices 30 with high points are selected. However, the present invention is not limited to this. If one relay device 30 can be narrowed down as many as possible, the top points with high points are selected. Three or more relay devices 30 may be selected.

  The priority determination unit 56d refers to the priority management DB 5006 (see FIG. 16), and determines an address priority point for each relay device 30 investigated by the primary selection unit 56c. Further, the priority determination unit 56d searches the priority management DB 5006 (see FIG. 17) based on the maximum data transmission rate of each relay device 30 managed by the relay device management DB 5001 (see FIG. 11). The point of the transmission rate priority is determined for each relay device 30 narrowed down by the first narrowing-down process by the primary selection unit 56c.

  Subsequently, the session management unit 57 is realized by an instruction from the CPU 102 shown in FIG. 6, and the selection generated by the selection session ID generation unit 56a in the session management DB 5005 (see FIG. 15) of the storage unit 5000. The session ID, the terminal ID of the request source terminal, and the terminal ID of the destination terminal are stored and managed in association with each other. In addition, the session management unit 57, for the session management DB 5005 (see FIG. 15), for each selection session ID, the relay device of the relay device 30 that is finally selected by the final selection unit 61b of the terminal 10 Store and manage IDs.

  The quality determination unit 58 searches the quality management DB 5007 (see FIG. 18) using the delay time as a search key and extracts the image quality of the corresponding image data, thereby determining the image quality of the image data to be relayed to the relay device 30. To do.

  The storage / read processing unit 59 is executed by the instruction from the CPU 102 shown in FIG. 6 and the HDD 205 shown in FIG. 6, and stores various data in the storage unit 5000 or stored in the storage unit 5000. To read various data.

  The delay time management unit 60 is realized by an instruction from the CPU 102 shown in FIG. 6, and searches the terminal management DB 5003 (see FIG. 13) using the IP address of the destination terminal as a search key, thereby corresponding terminals. The ID is extracted, and further, in the session management table of the session management DB 5005 (see FIG. 15), the delay time indicated by the delay information is stored in the field of the delay time in the record including the extracted terminal ID. And manage.

  In order to finally narrow down the plurality of relay devices 30 to one relay device 30, the final narrowing-down unit 61 uses a calculation unit 61 a as shown in FIG. 8 according to a command from the CPU 201 shown in FIG. The final selection unit 61b is realized.

  Among these, the calculation unit 61a indicates the first reception date and time (tr1) indicated by the first reception date and time information and the first transmission date and time information for each IP address of the arbitrary relay device 30 in the arbitrary session ID. Based on the time difference from the first transmission date and time (tt1), a first required time (t1) from transmission to reception of each first pre-transmission information is calculated. Similarly, for each IP address of the relay device 30 in the same session ID as described above, the calculation unit 61a performs the second reception date (tr2) indicated by the second reception date information and the second transmission date information indicated by the second transmission date information. The second required time (t2) from the transmission to the reception of each second pre-transmission information is calculated based on the time difference from the transmission date and time (tt2) of 2.

  The calculation unit 61a also adds up the calculated first required time (t1) and second required time (t2) for each IP address of an arbitrary relay device 30 in an arbitrary session ID. Calculate (T).

The final selection unit 61b determines whether the total required time (T) calculated by the calculation unit 61a corresponds to the number of relay devices 30 scheduled to be relayed in the execution of the session with the session ID. Then, if not all have been calculated, the final selection unit 61b determines whether a predetermined time (in this case, 1 minute) has elapsed since the start of the calculation of the total required time (T). On the other hand, when the final selection unit 61b calculates the total required time (T) of all the numbers, or when a predetermined time (here 1 minute) has elapsed, the final selection unit 61b has been One relay device 30 related to the shortest total required time (T) is selected from the calculated total required time (T). That is, the final selection unit 61b obtains the first and second prior transmission information that has the shortest total required time (T) among the plurality of total required times (T) calculated by the calculation unit 61a so far. One received relay device 30 is selected.
<< Processing or Operation of Embodiment >>
Next, a processing method in the transmission system 1 according to the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIGS. FIG. 19 is a sequence diagram illustrating processing for managing state information indicating the state of each relay device 30 transmitted from each relay device 30 to the management system 50. FIG. 20 is a sequence diagram illustrating processing in a preparation stage for starting a call between a plurality of terminals 10. FIG. 21 is a sequence diagram illustrating a process of narrowing down the relay devices 30. FIG. 22 is a process flow diagram illustrating a process of narrowing down the relay devices 30. FIG. 23 is a diagram illustrating a calculation state of priority points when the relay device 30 performs the narrowing-down process. 24 and 25 are sequence diagrams illustrating processing in which the terminal 10 selects the relay device 30. FIG. FIG. 26 is a process flow diagram illustrating a process of selecting the relay device 30 at the terminal. FIG. 27 is a sequence diagram illustrating processing for transmitting and receiving image data and audio data between terminals.

  First, a process for managing state information indicating the state of each relay device 30 transmitted from each relay device 30 to the management system 50 will be described with reference to FIG. First, in each relay device 30, the state detection unit 32 shown in FIG. 7 periodically detects the operating state of the relay device 30 that is its own device (steps S1-1 to S1-4). Then, the transmission / reception unit 31 of each relay device 30 periodically transmits each state information to the management system 50 via the communication network 2 so that the operation state of each relay device 30 is managed in real time on the management system 50 side. (Steps S2-1 to S2-4). Each state information includes the relay device ID for each relay device 30 and the operating state detected by the state detection unit 32 of the relay device 30 related to each relay device ID. In the present embodiment, the relay devices (30a, 30b, 30d) operate normally and are “online”, while the relay device 30c is operating, but the relay operation of the relay device 30c is performed. The case where some trouble occurs in the program to be executed and it is “offline” is shown.

  Next, in the management system 50, the transmission / reception unit 51 receives each status information sent from each relay device 30, and the relay device management DB 5001 in the storage unit 5000 via the storage / read processing unit 59 (see FIG. 11). ), Status information is stored and managed for each relay device ID (steps S3-1 to S3-4). As a result, the operating status of “online”, “offline”, or “failing” is stored and managed for each relay device ID in the relay device management table as shown in FIG. At this time, the reception date and time when the status information is received by the management system 50 is also stored and managed for each relay device ID. If the status information is not sent from the relay device 30, the field portion of the operation state and the field portion of the reception date and time in each record of the relay device management table shown in FIG. The operation status and the reception date and time at the previous reception are shown.

  Next, a transmission / reception process of each management information in a preparation stage before starting a call between the terminal 10aa and the terminal 10db will be described with reference to FIG. Note that FIG. 20 illustrates a process in which various types of management information are transmitted and received through the management information session sei.

  First, when the user turns on the power switch 109 shown in FIG. 5, the operation input accepting unit 12 shown in FIG. 7 accepts power on and turns on the power (step S21). The login request unit 13 automatically transmits login request information indicating a login request from the transmission / reception unit 11 to the management system 50 via the communication network 2 when the power-on is received (step S22). The login request information includes a terminal ID and a password for identifying the terminal 10aa that is the own terminal as a request source. These terminal ID and password are data read from the storage unit 1000 via the storage / read processing unit 19 and sent to the transmission / reception unit 11. When the login request information is transmitted from the terminal 10aa to the management system 50, the management system 50 that is the receiving side can grasp the IP address of the terminal 10ab that is the transmitting side.

  Next, the terminal authentication unit 52 of the management system 50 uses the terminal ID and password included in the login request information received via the transmission / reception unit 51 as search keys, and the terminal authentication management DB 5002 of the storage unit 5000 (see FIG. 12). ) And terminal authentication is performed by determining whether the same terminal ID and password are managed in the terminal authentication management DB 5002 (step S23). Since the same terminal ID and password are managed by the terminal authentication unit 52, if it is determined that the login request is from the terminal 10 having a valid usage right, the state management unit 53 The DB 5003 (see FIG. 13) stores the terminal ID of the terminal 10aa, the operating state, the reception date and time when the login request information is received, and the IP address of the terminal 10aa in association with each other (step S24). Accordingly, in the terminal management table shown in FIG. 13, the terminal ID “01aa”, the operation state “online”, the reception date and time “2009.11.10.13:40”, and the IP address “1” of the terminal 10aa are displayed. .2.1.3 "is managed in association with each other.

  Then, the transmission / reception unit 51 of the management system 50 sends the authentication result information indicating the authentication result obtained by the terminal authentication unit 52 via the communication network 2 to the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that made the login request. (Step S25). In the present embodiment, the case where the terminal authentication unit 52 determines that the terminal has a valid usage right will be described below.

  The terminal extraction unit 54 of the management system 50 searches the destination list management DB 5004 (see FIG. 14) using the terminal ID “01aa” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that requested the login as a search key, and requests the request source terminal (terminal 10aa). The terminal IDs of candidate destination terminals that can communicate with the destination terminal are read out (step S26). Here, the terminal IDs (“01ab”, “01ba”, “01db”) of the destination terminals (terminals 10ab, 10ba, 10db) corresponding to the terminal ID “01aa” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) are extracted. Will be.

  Next, the terminal state acquisition unit 55 uses the terminal IDs (“01ab”, “01ba”, “01db”) of the destination terminal candidates extracted by the terminal extraction unit 54 as search keys, and the terminal management DB 5003 (FIG. 13). Each of the terminals (10ab, 10ba, 10db) by reading the operating state ("offline", "online", "online") for each terminal ID extracted by the terminal extracting unit 54. A state is acquired (step 27).

  Next, the transmission / reception unit 51 uses the terminal IDs (“01ab”, “01ba”, “01db”) as the search keys used in step 27 and the corresponding destination terminals (terminals 10ab, 10ba, 10db). Are transmitted to the requesting terminal (terminal 10aa) via the communication network 2 (step S28). The destination state information including the respective operating states (“offline”, “online”, “online”). As a result, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) has the respective current operating states (“offline” of the terminals (10ab, 10ba, 10db) that are candidates for destination terminals that can communicate with the request source terminal (terminal 10aa). ”,“ Online ”,“ online ”).

  Further, the terminal extraction unit 54 of the management system 50 searches the destination list management DB 5004 (see FIG. 14) using the terminal ID “01aa” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that requested the login as a search key, and the request source The terminal IDs of other requesting terminals that have registered the terminal ID “01aa” of the terminal (terminal 10aa) as candidates for the destination terminal are extracted (step S29). In the destination list management table shown in FIG. 14, the terminal IDs of the other request source terminals to be extracted are “01ab”, “01ba”, and “01db”.

  Next, the terminal status acquisition unit 55 of the management system 50 searches the terminal management DB 5003 (see FIG. 13) using the terminal ID “01aa” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that requested the login as a search key. Then, the operating state of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that has made the login request is acquired (step S30).

  Then, the transmission / reception unit 51 includes the terminal management DB 5003 (FIG. 13) among the terminals (10ab, 10ba, 10db) related to the terminal IDs (“01ab”, “01ba”, “01db”) extracted in step S29. The terminal (10ba, 10db) whose operation state is “online” in the reference) includes the terminal ID “01aa” and the operation state “online” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) acquired in step S30. The destination state information is transmitted (steps S31-1, S31-2). When the transmission / reception unit 51 transmits the destination status information to the terminals (10ba, 10db), it is managed by the terminal management table shown in FIG. 13 based on the terminal IDs (“01ba”, “01db”). Refers to the IP address of the terminal being used. Accordingly, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that requested the login is sent to each of the other destination terminals (terminals 10db and 10ba) that can communicate with the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that requested the login. The terminal ID “01aa” and the operation state “online” can be transmitted.

  On the other hand, in the other terminals 10 as well, when the user turns on the power switch 109 shown in FIG. 6, the operation input receiving unit 12 shown in FIG. Since the same processing as the processing of steps S22 to S31-1, 2 is performed, the description thereof is omitted.

  Next, processing for narrowing down the relay devices 30 will be described with reference to FIG. Note that FIG. 21 illustrates a process in which various types of management information are transmitted and received through the management information session sei. In the present embodiment, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) is the terminal (10ba, 10db) whose operation state is online based on the terminal state information received in step S32 among the terminals 10 as destination candidates. ) And at least one of them. Therefore, hereinafter, a case where the user of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) has selected to start a call with the destination terminal (terminal 10db) will be described.

  First, when the user presses the operation button 108 shown in FIG. 5 to select the terminal 10db, the operation input reception unit 12 shown in FIG. 7 issues a request to start a call with the destination terminal 10db. Accept (step S41). Then, the transmission / reception unit 11 of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) includes the terminal ID “01aa” of the terminal 10aa and the terminal ID “01db” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db), and indicates a start request indicating that a call is to be started. Information is transmitted to the management system 50 (step S42). Accordingly, the transmission / reception unit 51 of the management system 50 can receive the start request information and grasp the IP address “1.2.1.3” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that is the transmission source. .

  Then, based on the terminal ID “01aa” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the terminal ID “01db” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) included in the start request information, the state management unit 53 determines the terminal management DB 5003 (see FIG. 13). ) In the terminal management table, both of the field portions of the operation state of the records each including the terminal ID “01aa” and the terminal ID “01db” are changed to “busy” (step S43). In this state, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the destination terminal (terminal 10db) have not started a call, but are in a call state and the other terminal 10 is a request source terminal (terminal 10aa) or a destination terminal. When a call is made to (terminal 10db), a sound or display indicating a so-called busy state is output.

  Next, processing for executing a session for selecting the relay device 30 in steps S44 to S48 and steps S61-1 to S66 will be described. First, the selection session ID generation unit 56a generates a selection session ID used to execute a session for selecting the relay device 30 (step S44). Then, the session management unit 57 stores the selection session ID “se1” generated in step S44 and the terminal ID “01aa” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) in the session management DB 5005 (see FIG. 15) of the storage unit 5000. And the terminal ID “01db” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) are stored and managed in association with each other (step S45).

  Next, the primary screening unit 56 of the management system 50 performs a call between the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the destination terminal (terminal 10db) based on the relay device management DB 5001, the terminal management DB 5003, and the priority management DB 5006. Is first narrowed down (step S46).

  Here, the process in step S46 will be described in more detail with reference to FIG. First, the terminal IP address extraction unit 56b sends the terminal ID “01aa” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) included in the start communication information sent from the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the destination terminal (terminal 10db). ) Of the terminal management DB 5003 (see FIG. 13) on the basis of the terminal ID “01db” of the terminal ID “01db”, the IP addresses (“1.2.1.3”, “ 1.3.2.4 ") is extracted (step S46-1).

  Next, the primary selection unit 56c selects each of the relay devices (30a, 30b, 30d) that are “online” among the operating states of the relay device 30 managed by the relay device management DB 5001 (see FIG. 11). The relay device ID (111a, 111b, 111d) is selected (step S46-2). Further, the primary selection unit 56c extracts the IP address “1.2.1.3” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the IP address “1” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) extracted in step S46-1. .3.2.4 "is used to search the relay device management DB 5001 (see FIG. 11), and thereby each IP address (" "of the relay device (30a, 30b, 30d) selected in step S46-2 is selected. "1.2.1.2.", "1.2.2.2", "1.3.2.2") for each dot address of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and destination terminal (terminal 10db). ) Is checked whether it is the same as or different from each dot address in each IP address (“1.2.1.3”, “1.3.2.4”) (step S46-3).

  Next, the priority determination unit 56d refers to the priority management DB 5006 (see FIG. 16), and determines the point of the address priority for each relay device (30a, 30b, 30d) investigated in the above step 46-3. Is determined (step S46-4). When the result of this determination process is shown in a table, the state shown in FIG. 23 is obtained. FIG. 23 is a diagram illustrating a calculation state of priority points when the relay device 30 performs the narrowing-down process. In FIG. 23, an address priority point, a transmission speed priority point, and an integration point are shown for each relay device ID. The address priority points further indicate points for the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and points for the destination terminal (terminal 10db) of each relay device 30. The integration point is the sum of the higher one of the two address priority points and the transmission speed priority point.

  In the present embodiment, the IP address “1.2.1.2” of the relay device 30a is different from the IP address “1.2.1.3” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa). .. ”, the address priority point is“ 5 ”as shown in FIG. Further, as shown in FIG. 1, the IP address “1.2.1.2” of the relay device 30a is different from the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db). As shown in FIG. 16, since “same. Different. Different. Different”, the point of the address priority is “1” as shown in FIG. Further, the IP address “1.2.2.2” of the relay device 30b is “same. Same. Different. Different” with respect to the IP address “1.2.1.3” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa). Therefore, the address priority point is “3”. Further, the IP address “1.2.2.2” of the relay device 30b is “same. Different. Same. Different” with respect to the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db). Therefore, the point of address priority is “1”. Further, the IP address “1.3.2.2” of the relay device 30d is “same. Different. Different. Different” with respect to the IP address “1.2.1.3” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa). Therefore, the address priority point is “1”. Further, the IP address “1.3.2.2” of the relay device 30d is “same. Same. Same. Different” with respect to the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db). Therefore, the address priority point is “5”.

  Next, returning to FIG. 22, the priority determination unit 56d determines the priority management DB 5006 (FIG. 17) based on the maximum data transmission rate of each relay device 30 managed by the relay device management DB 5001 (see FIG. 11). By searching for (reference), the point of the transmission speed priority is determined for each relay device (30a, 30b, 30d) narrowed down by the first narrowing-down process in step S46-2 (step S46-5). In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 11, the maximum data transmission rate of the relay device 30a is 100 (Mbps). Therefore, referring to the transmission rate priority shown in FIG. The degree is 3 points. Similarly, if the maximum data transmission rate of the relay device 30b is calculated to be 1000 (Mbps), the transmission rate priority is 5 points. Similarly, if the maximum data transmission rate of the relay device 30d is calculated to be 10 (Mbps), the transmission rate priority is 1 point.

  Next, for each relay device (30a, 30b, 30d), the primary selection unit 56c integrates the higher point of the terminals (10aa, 10db) and the transmission speed priority point at the address priority point. Among the integrated points, the top two relay devices 30 with the highest points are selected (step 46-6). In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 23, since the relay device IDs (111a, 111b, 111d) have integration points “8”, “8”, and “6”, respectively, the relay device ID “ The relay device 30a related to “111a” and the relay device 30b related to the relay device ID “111b” are selected.

  When the narrowing-down process in step S46 is completed, the transmission / reception unit 51 illustrated in FIG. 7 transmits the number of narrowed relay apparatuses 30 to the destination terminal (terminal 10db) via the communication network 2. Relay device narrowing information is transmitted (step S47). The relay device narrowing information includes the number “2” of the relay devices 30 narrowed down in the step 46, the terminal ID “01aa” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa), and the selection session ID “se1”. It is. Thereby, the terminal 10db can grasp how many relay devices 30 are in the execution of the session with the selection session ID “se1” and which terminal 10 has requested to start a call. At the same time, the IP address “1.1.1.2” of the management system 50 that is the transmission source of the relay device narrowing information can be grasped.

  Then, the terminal 10db transmits reception completion information indicating that reception of the relay device narrowing information is completed from the transmission / reception unit 11 to the management system 50 via the communication network 2 (step S48). This reception completion information includes the session ID “se1”. As a result, the management system 50 completes the transmission of the number of relay apparatuses being executed with the session ID “se1”, and the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) that is the transmission source. Can be grasped.

  Next, a process in which the management system 50 selects the relay device 30 will be described with reference to FIGS.

  First, before starting a video conference call, in order to cause each of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the destination terminal (terminal 10db) to transmit the pre-transmission information including ping, the management system 50 includes a transmission / reception unit. 51 transmits the pre-transmission request information to the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the destination terminal (terminal 10db) via the communication network 2 (steps S61-1, 2). The pre-transmission request information includes the session ID “se1” and the IP addresses (“1.2.1.2” and “1.2.2” of the relay devices (30a, 30b) narrowed down in step S46. .2 "). Thereby, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the destination terminal (terminal 10db) relay the pre-transmission information in the selection process of the relay device 30 executed with the session ID “se1” (30a, 30b). Can be grasped. At this time, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the destination terminal (terminal 10db) can also grasp the IP address “1.1.1.2” of the management system that is the transmission source of the advance transmission request information. .

  Next, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) transmits the first pre-transmission information from the transmission / reception unit 11 to the relay device 30a via the communication network 2 (step S62-1).

  Further, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) associates the transmission date and time when the first pre-transmission information is transmitted by the transmission / reception unit 11 with the IP address of the relay device 30a to which the first pre-transmission information is transmitted. 7 is stored in the storage unit 1000 shown in FIG. 7 (step S63-1).

  On the other hand, the first pre-transmission information includes the session ID “se1” and ping. As a result, the relay device 30a can grasp that the first pre-transmission information has been sent in the execution of the session with the selection session ID “se1”, and at the transmission source of the first pre-transmission information. The IP address “1.2.1.3” of a certain request source terminal (terminal 10aa) can be grasped.

  Moreover, in the relay device 30a, the measurement unit 36 measures the first reception date and time when the transmission / reception unit 31 receives the first pre-transmission information (step S64-1). And the transmission / reception part 31 was sent by the said step S62-1 with respect to IP address "1.2.1.3" of the request origin terminal (terminal 10aa) received by transmission of the said step S62-1. First reception result information indicating that the first pre-transmission information has been received is transmitted (step S65-1). The first reception result information includes the session ID “se1” and the first reception date / time information indicating the first reception date / time measured in step S64-1. Thereby, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) can grasp that the first reception result information has been sent in the execution of the session with the session ID “se1”, and transmit the first reception result information. The IP address “1.2.1.2” of the original relay device 30a can be grasped.

  Next, in the request source terminal (terminal 10aa), the storage / read processing unit 19 stores the first reception date and time information included in the first reception result information in the storage unit 1000 (step S66-1). In order to specify the stored first reception date / time information later, the session ID “se1” and the IP address of the relay device 30a are stored in association with the first reception date / time information.

  Also, the same processing as Steps S62-1 to S66-1 is performed between the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and the relay device 30b (Steps S67-1 to S71-1 in FIG. 24).

  Next, the storage / read processing unit 19 of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa), from the storage unit 1000, for each IP address of the relay device based on the session ID “se1”, the first corresponding to this session ID. The transmission date / time information and the first reception date / time information are read (step S72-1). And the transmission / reception part 11 transmits 1st transmission / reception result information for every session ID and the IP address of a relay apparatus to the management system 50 via the communication network 2 (step S73-1). The first transmission / reception result information includes the session ID “se1”, the IP address of the relay device 30a (“1.2.1.2”, “1.2.2.1”), and the above step (S63). -1 and S68-2) and the first transmission date and time information stored in the steps (S66-1 and S71-1) are included. As a result, the management system 50 receives the first transmission / reception result information, and at the same time, receives the IP address “1.2.1.3” of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) that is the transmission source of the first transmission / reception result information. Can be grasped.

  On the other hand, as illustrated in FIG. 25, the destination terminal (terminal 10db) transmits the second pre-transmission information from the transmission / reception unit 11 to the relay device 30a via the communication network 2 (step S62-2).

  Further, the destination terminal (terminal 10db) associates the transmission date and time when the second pre-transmission information is transmitted by the transmission / reception unit 11 with the IP address of the relay device 30a to which the second pre-transmission information is transmitted. (Step S63-2).

  On the other hand, the second pre-transmission information includes the session ID “se1” and ping. Thereby, the relay device 30a can grasp that the second pre-transmission information has been sent in the execution of the session with the selection session ID “se1”, and at the transmission source of the second pre-transmission information. The IP address “1.3.2.4” of a certain destination terminal (terminal 10db) can be grasped.

  Further, in the relay device 30a, the measuring unit 36 measures the second reception date and time when the transmission / reception unit 31 receives the second pre-transmission information (step S64-2). Then, the transmission / reception unit 31 sends the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) received by the transmission at step S62-2 to the first address sent at step S62-2. 2nd reception result information which shows that 2 prior transmission information was received is transmitted (step S65-2). The second reception result information includes the session ID “se1” and the second reception date / time information indicating the second reception date / time measured in step S64-2. Thereby, the destination terminal (terminal 10db) can grasp that the second reception result information has been sent in the execution of the session with the session ID “se1”, and the transmission source of the second reception result information It is possible to grasp the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the relay device 30a.

  Next, in the destination terminal (terminal 10db), the storage / read processing unit 19 stores the second reception date and time information included in the second reception result information in the storage unit 1000 (step S66-2). In order to specify the stored second reception date / time information later, the session ID “se1” and the IP address of the relay device 30a are stored in association with the second reception date / time information.

  In addition, processing similar to that in steps S62-2 to S66-2 is performed between the destination terminal (terminal 10db) and the relay device 30b (steps S67-2 to S71-2 in FIG. 25).

  Next, the storage / read processing unit 19 of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) performs second transmission corresponding to this session ID for each IP address of the relay device based on the session ID “se1” from the storage unit 1000. The date information and the second reception date information are read out (step S72-2). And the transmission / reception part 11 transmits 2nd transmission / reception result information for every session ID and the IP address of a relay apparatus to the management system 50 via the communication network 2 (step S73-2). The second transmission / reception result information is stored by the session ID “se1”, the IP address “1.2.2.2” of the relay device 30b, and the above steps (S63-2, S68-2), respectively. The second transmission date / time information and the second reception date / time information stored in the steps (S66-2, S71-2) are included. As a result, the management system 50 receives the second transmission / reception result information, and at the same time the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) that is the transmission source of the second transmission / reception result information. Can be grasped.

  Next, the final narrowing unit 61 of the management system 50 finally narrows down to one relay device 30 that relays image data and audio data in a video conference call based on the first and second transmission / reception result information. (Step S74).

  Here, the process in step S68 will be described in more detail with reference to FIGS. First, the calculation unit 61a of the final narrowing unit 61 illustrated in FIG. 8 performs the first reception date information indicated by the first reception date / time information for each IP address of the relay device (30a, 30b) in the session ID “se1”. Based on the time difference between the first transmission date and time (tr1) and the first transmission date and time (tt1) indicated by the first transmission date and time information. t1) is calculated (step S74-1). Similarly, the calculation unit 61a, for each IP address of the relay device (30a, 30b) in the session ID “se1”, the second reception date and time (tr2) indicated by the second reception date and time information and the second transmission date and time information. Based on the time difference from the second transmission date and time (tt2) indicated by (2), a second required time (t2) from transmission to reception of each second pre-transmission information is calculated (step S74-1).

  Next, for each IP address of the relay device (30a, 30b) in the session ID “se1,” the calculation unit 61a calculates the first required time (t1) and the second required time calculated in step S74-1. A total required time (T) obtained by adding (t2) is calculated (step S74-2).

  Next, the final selection unit 61b determines that the total required time (T) calculated in step S74-2 is that of the relay device (30a, 30b) scheduled to relay in the execution of the session with the session ID “se1”. It is determined whether it corresponds to the number (here, “2”) (step S74-3). And when all are not calculated (NO), the last selection part 61b has passed the predetermined time (here 1 minute) after starting calculation of the total required time (T) by said step S73-2. Is determined (step S74-4). Further, if the predetermined time has not elapsed (NO), the process returns to step S74-1. On the other hand, when the total required time (T) of all the numbers is calculated in step 74-3 (YES), or when a predetermined time has elapsed in step S74-4 (YES), the final selection unit 61b Selects one relay device 30 related to the shortest total required time (T) from the total required time (T) calculated so far by the calculation unit 61a (step S74-5). That is, the final selection unit 61b has received the first and second pre-transmission information that has the shortest total required time (T) out of the total required time (T) calculated so far by the calculation unit 61a. One relay device 30 is selected. In the present embodiment, the total required time (T) based on the set of the first and second pre-transmission information received by the relay device 30a is the set of the first and second pre-transmission information received by the relay device 30b. In this example, the relay device 30a is selected as being shorter than the total required time (T).

  Subsequently, returning to FIG. 25, the session management unit 57 of the management system 50 includes, in the session management table of the session management DB 5005 (see FIG. 15), the relay device ID field portion of the record including the session ID “se1”. The relay device ID “111a” of the finally selected relay device 30a is stored and managed (step S75). Then, the transmission / reception unit 51 of the management system 50 transmits relay start request information indicating a request to start relaying to the relay device 30a via the communication network 2 (step S76). In this relay start request information, each IP address (“1.2.1.3”, “1.3.2.4”) of the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) and destination terminal (terminal 10db) to be relayed is included. It is included. Thereby, since the relay device 30a can grasp that the relay device 30a as its own device has been selected, three image data of low resolution, medium resolution, and high resolution between the terminals (10aa, 10db), In addition, a session for calling the voice data is established (step S77). Therefore, the terminals (10aa, 10db) can start a video conference call.

  Next, a process for transmitting and receiving image data and audio data to perform a video conference call between the request source terminal and the destination terminal will be described with reference to FIGS. 7 and 26. First, the request source terminal (terminal 10aa) transmits and receives the image data of the subject imaged by the imaging unit 14 and the audio data of the audio input by the audio input unit 15a by the image / audio data session sed. To the relay device 30a via the communication network 2 (step S81). In the present embodiment, the high-quality image data including the low resolution, the medium resolution, and the high resolution shown in FIG. 3 and the audio data are transmitted. Thereby, in the relay device 30a, the transmission / reception unit 31 receives the image data and the audio data of the three resolutions. Then, the data quality confirmation unit 33 searches the change quality management DB 3001 (see FIG. 10) using the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) as a search key, and the corresponding relay image By extracting the image quality of the data, the image quality of the image data to be relayed is confirmed (step S82). In the present embodiment, since the image quality of the confirmed image data is “high image quality” and is the same as the image quality of the image data received by the transmission / reception unit 31, the relay device 30a uses the session sed for image / audio data. The image data with the same image quality and the sound data with the same sound quality are transferred to the destination terminal (terminal 10db) (step S83). As a result, the destination terminal (terminal 10db) receives the high-quality image data and the audio data composed of the low resolution, the medium resolution, and the high resolution at the transmission / reception unit 11. Then, the display control unit 17 can combine the three image quality image data to display an image on the display 120, and the sound output unit 15b can output sound based on the sound data.

  Next, the delay detection unit 18 of the terminal 10db detects the reception delay time of the image data received by the transmission / reception unit 11 at regular time intervals (for example, every second) (step S84). In the present embodiment, the following description is continued for a case where the delay time is 200 (ms).

  The transmission / reception unit 11 of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) transmits delay information indicating the delay time “200 (ms)” to the management system 50 via the communication network 2 through the management information session sei (step S85). As a result, the management system 50 can grasp the delay time and the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the terminal 10db that is the transmission source of the delay information.

  Next, the delay time management unit 60 of the management system 50 searches the terminal management DB 5003 (see FIG. 13) using the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) as a search key. Then, the corresponding terminal ID “01db” is extracted, and in the session management table of the session management DB 5005 (see FIG. 15), the delay information field portion of the record of the terminal ID “01db” is indicated by the delay information. The stored delay time “200 (ms)” is stored and managed (step S86).

  Next, the quality determination unit 58 searches the quality management DB 5007 (see FIG. 18) using the delay time “200 (ms)” as a search key, and extracts the image quality “medium image quality” of the corresponding image data. The image quality is determined as “medium image quality” (step S87).

  Next, the transmitting / receiving unit 51 uses the relay device ID “111a” associated with the terminal ID “01db” in the session management table of the session management DB (see FIG. 15) as a search key, and the relay device management DB 5001 (see FIG. 15). 11) and the IP address “1.2.1.2” of the corresponding relay device 30a is extracted (step S88). Then, the transmission / reception unit 51 transmits the quality information indicating the image quality “medium image quality” of the image data determined in step 87 to the relay apparatus 30a via the communication network 2 by the management information session sei (step S89). ). This quality information includes the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) used as the search key in step S86. Thereby, in the relay device 30a, the change quality management unit 34 stores the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal 10 (here, the terminal 10db) in the change quality management DB 3001 (see FIG. 10). , And the image quality “medium image quality” of the relayed image data is stored and managed in association with each other (step S90).

  Next, the terminal 10aa continues to the relay device 30a through the image / audio data session sed in the same manner as in the above step S81, and the high-quality image data including the low resolution, medium resolution, and high resolution, and Audio data is transmitted (step S91). As a result, in the relay device 30a, as in step S82, the data quality confirmation unit 33 uses the IP address “1.3.2.4” of the destination terminal (terminal 10db) as a search key to change the quality management DB 3001 ( 10) and the image quality “medium image quality” of the corresponding image data to be relayed is extracted to check the image quality of the image data to be relayed (step S92). In this embodiment, since the image quality of the confirmed image data is “medium image quality” and lower than the image quality “high image quality” of the image data received by the transmission / reception unit 31, the data quality changing unit 35 The image quality of the image data is changed by suppressing the image quality from “high image quality” to “medium image quality” (step S93).

  Then, the image / sound data session sed changes the image data in which the image quality of the image data is changed to “medium image quality” and the sound quality of the sound to the terminal 10 db via the communication network 2. Audio data that has not been transmitted is transmitted (step S94). As a result, the destination terminal (terminal 10db) receives the image data and audio data of medium quality composed of two of low resolution and medium resolution by the transmission / reception unit 11. Then, the display control unit 17 can combine the two resolution image data to display the image on the display 120, and the audio output unit 15b can output the audio based on the audio data.

As described above, when a reception delay occurs at the destination terminal (terminal 10db) that receives the image data, the relay device 30a changes the quality of the image and gives a strange feeling to the person participating in the video conference. Can not be.
<< Main effects of this embodiment >>
As described above, according to the present embodiment, even if the environment of the LAN 2 such as the IP address of the relay device 30 in the communication network 2 can be grasped, it is difficult to grasp the entire environment of the Internet 2i. Therefore, first, the environment information that can be grasped is narrowed down to two or more of the plurality of relay devices 30 that relay image data and audio data. Then, before actually transmitting / receiving the image data and audio data among the plurality of terminals 10, it is actually transmitted the earliest in advance by transmitting / receiving the pre-transmission information instead of the image data and audio data. There is an effect that the information can be narrowed down to one relay device 30 capable of relaying information.

  That is, by selecting the relay device 30 to which the upper two or more IP addresses close to any of the IP addresses of the terminal 10 are assigned, two or more candidates for the relay device 30 to be finally used are left. be able to. Then, the measurement unit 36 of the relay device 30 measures the first reception time when the first pre-transmission information is received and the second reception time when the second pre-transmission information is received. Next, the transmitter / receiver 31 transmits the first reception time information indicating the measured first reception time to the first transmission terminal, and the second time indicating the measured second reception time. The reception time information is transmitted to the second transmission terminal. Thereby, the first transmission terminal transmits the received first reception time and the first transmission time when the first transmission terminal transmits the first pre-transmission information to the management system 50. On the other hand, the second transmission terminal transmits to the management system 50 the received second reception time and the second transmission time when the second pre-transmission information is transmitted by the second transmission terminal. Therefore, the management system 50 calculates the first required time based on the difference between the first reception time and the first transmission time, and based on the difference between the second reception time and the second transmission time. The total required time is calculated by calculating the second required time and summing up the first and second required times. In this way, the management system 50 calculates the total required time related to the relay device for each relay device, thereby selecting the relay device related to the shortest total required time from the plurality of relay devices. This selection produces an effect that it is possible to select a relay device that relays high-quality content data to the maximum in an actual communication network environment.

  In the present embodiment, when narrowing down the relay devices 30, not only the relay device 30 having an IP address close to the IP address of the terminal 10 that conducts the video conference is preferentially selected, but the maximum data transmission in each relay device 30 is also performed. In consideration of speed, two or more relay devices 30 are selected. Thereby, the effect that the candidate of the relay apparatus 30 according to the environment of the actual communication network 2 can be narrowed down is produced.

Furthermore, in this embodiment, when the relay devices 30 are narrowed down, the relay devices 30 whose operation state is online are narrowed down, and therefore, the candidates for the relay devices 30 that are more suitable for the actual network 2 environment can be narrowed down. .
[Supplement of Embodiment]
The relay device 30, the management system 50, the program providing system 90, and the maintenance system 100 in the above embodiment may be constructed by a single computer, or may be arbitrarily assigned by dividing each unit (function or means). It may be constructed by a plurality of computers. In addition, when the program providing system 90 is constructed by a single computer, the program transmitted by the program providing system 90 may be transmitted by dividing it into a plurality of modules. It may be transmitted. Further, when the program providing system 90 is constructed by a plurality of computers, a plurality of modules may be divided and transmitted from each computer.

  Further, the terminal program, the relay device program, and the transmission management program of each of the above embodiments, the recording medium storing the program, the HD 204 storing the program, and the program providing system 90 including the HD 204, All of them are used when the terminal program, the relay device program, and the transmission management program are provided to users or the like as program products in Japan or abroad.

  Furthermore, in the above-described embodiment, as an example of the image quality of the image data relayed by the relay device 30 using the changed quality management table shown in FIG. 10 and the quality management table shown in FIG. Although it was managed by focusing on the resolution of the image of the data, the present invention is not limited to this. Other examples of the quality include the depth of image quality of the image data, the sampling frequency of the audio data, and the bit length of the audio data. You may manage it paying attention to. Further, the audio data may be transmitted and received by being divided into data of three types of resolution (high resolution, medium resolution, and low resolution).

  11, FIG. 13 and FIG. 15 manage the reception date and time, but the present invention is not limited to this, and at least the reception time of the reception date and time may be managed.

  Further, in the above embodiment, the IP address of the relay device is managed in FIG. 11 and the IP address of the terminal in FIG. 13, but the present invention is not limited to this, and the relay device 30 is specified on the communication network 2. Each relay device specifying information or terminal specifying information for specifying the terminal 10 on the communication network 2 may manage each FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name). In this case, an IP address corresponding to the FQDN is acquired by a known DNS (Domain Name System) server. In addition to “relay device specifying information for specifying the relay device 30 in the communication network 2”, “relay device connection destination information indicating a connection destination to the relay device 30 on the communication network 2” or “communication It may be expressed as “relay device destination information indicating a destination to the relay device 30 on the network 2”. Similarly, not only “terminal specifying information for specifying the terminal 10 in the communication network 2” but also “terminal connection destination information indicating a connection destination to the terminal 10 on the communication network 2” or “on the communication network 2 It may be expressed as “terminal destination information indicating a destination to the terminal 10”.

  In the above embodiment, a video conference system has been described as an example of the transmission system 1. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and a telephone system such as an IP (Internet Protocol) telephone or an Internet telephone may be used. . Further, the transmission system 1 may be a car navigation system. In this case, for example, one of the terminals 30 corresponds to a car navigation device mounted on a car, and the other of the terminals 30 is mounted on a management terminal or management server of a management center that manages car navigation, or another car. This corresponds to a car navigation device. The transmission system 1 may be a mobile phone communication system. In this case, for example, the terminal 10 corresponds to a mobile phone.

  In the above embodiment, image data and audio data have been described as an example of content data. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and touch data may be used. In this case, the feeling that the user touched on one terminal side is transmitted to the other terminal side. Further, the content data may be smell data. In this case, the odor (odor) on one terminal side is transmitted to the other terminal side. The content data may be at least one of image data, audio data, tactile data, and olfactory data.

  Further, in the above embodiment, the case where a video conference is performed by the transmission system 1 has been described. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and a general conversation such as a meeting, a family or a friend, or information in one direction is performed. It may be used for presentation.

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 Transmission system 10 Transmission terminal 11 Transmission / reception part (An example of a 1st terminal transmission means, an example of a 2nd terminal transmission means)
17 display control unit 18 delay detection unit 30 relay device 31 transmission / reception unit (an example of a reception unit, an example of a relay device transmission unit)
32 Status detection unit 33 Data quality confirmation unit 34 Changed quality management unit 35 Data quality change unit 36 Measurement unit (an example of measurement means)
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 50 Transmission management system 51 Transmission / reception part 52 Terminal authentication part 53 State management part 54 Terminal extraction part 55 Terminal state acquisition part 56 Primary narrowing-down part 56a Selection session ID production | generation part 56b Terminal IP address extraction part 56c Primary selection part 56c
56d priority determination unit 57 session management unit 58 quality determination unit 60 delay time management unit 61 final narrowing unit 61a calculation unit (an example of calculation means)
61b Final selection unit (an example of selection means)
70 router 90 program providing system 100 maintenance system 1000 storage unit 3000 storage unit 3001 change quality management DB
5000 storage unit 5001 relay device management DB
5002 Terminal authentication management DB
5003 Terminal management DB
5004 Destination list management DB
5005 Session management DB
5006 Priority management DB
5007 Quality Management DB

JP 2008-227577 A

Claims (6)

  1. A relay device that relays content data for conversation between the first and second transmission terminals,
    Before the content data is transmitted / received between the first and second transmission terminals, the first pre-transmission information transmitted from the first transmission terminal is received and transmitted from the second transmission terminal. Receiving means for receiving the second pre-transmission information;
    Measuring means for measuring a first reception time when the first preliminary transmission information is received by the reception means, and a second reception time when the second preliminary transmission information is received by the reception means; ,
    The first reception time information indicating the measured first reception time is transmitted to the first transmission terminal, and the second reception time information indicating the measured second reception time is transmitted to the second transmission terminal. Relay device transmitting means for transmitting to the transmission terminal;
    A relay apparatus comprising:
  2. A relay device that actually relays the relay device, the first and second transmission terminals, and a plurality of relay devices that relay content data for conversation between the first and second transmission terminals. A transmission system having a transmission management system to select,
    The first transmission terminal transmits the received first reception time information and first transmission time information indicating a transmission time when transmitting the first pre-transmission information to the transmission management system. First terminal transmitting means
    The second transmission terminal transmits the received second reception time information and second transmission time information indicating a transmission time when transmitting the second pre-transmission information to the transmission management system. Second terminal transmitting means for
    The transmission management system is configured to transmit the first pre-transmission information from reception to reception based on a difference between the reception time indicated by the first reception time information and the transmission time indicated by the first transmission time information. And calculating the first required time based on the difference between the reception time indicated by the second reception time information and the transmission time indicated by the second transmission time information. A transmission system comprising: calculating means for calculating a second required time from transmission to reception of the first time and further calculating a total required time obtained by adding the first and second required times.
  3.   The transmission system according to claim 2, wherein the transmission management system includes a selection unit that selects a relay device related to the shortest total required time among a plurality of relay devices.
  4.   A program that causes the computer to function as each unit according to claim 1.
  5.   The program provision system which provides the program of Claim 4 to the said relay apparatus via a communication network.
  6.   A maintenance system that performs maintenance of the relay device according to claim 1.
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CA2830337A CA2830337A1 (en) 2011-03-25 2012-03-26 Transmission management system, transmission system, selection method, program product, program supply system, and maintenance system
SG2013065990A SG193264A1 (en) 2011-03-25 2012-03-26 Transmission management system, transmission system, selection method, program product, program supply system, and maintenance system
CN2012800147946A CN103460691A (en) 2011-03-25 2012-03-26 Transmission management system, transmission system, selection method, program product, program supply system, and maintenance system
EP20120764861 EP2689579A4 (en) 2011-03-25 2012-03-26 Transmission management system, transmission system, selection method, program product, program supply system, and maintenance system
PCT/JP2012/058767 WO2012133863A1 (en) 2011-03-25 2012-03-26 Transmission management system, transmission system, selection method, program product, program supply system, and maintenance system
US14/006,985 US9350660B2 (en) 2011-03-25 2012-03-26 Transmission management system, transmission system, selection method, program product, program supply system, and maintenance system

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